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Davis Journal

Kaysville woman named TOPS Queen after losing 84 pounds

Dec 16, 2022 02:30PM ● By Becky Ginos

KAYSVILLE—Cleone Kynaston weighed 117 pounds when she got married in 1952. By 1999 she weighed 240 pounds. The Kaysville woman knew she needed to do something about her weight. She found TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) a nonprofit weight loss support organization in the late 1960s and joined a local chapter in Farmington.

“I weighed 185 pounds,” said Kynaston. “The members were very friendly and I lost 50 pounds getting to my goal weight of 135 pounds.”

However, as she moved around to different cities, Kynaston said she started to gain weight. “When we moved to Soda Springs, Idaho I found a wonderful TOPS chapter and started to lose  weight. We moved again to Park Valley, Utah in the late 1970s where there was no TOPS chapter and I again gained weight.”

Kynaston found a few other women in the area and together they organized their own TOPS chapter. “We moved again in 1979 to Kaysville and I started to work as a telephone operator, sitting eight hours a day, five days a week,” she said. “Twenty years later at 240 pounds, I knew I had to lose weight.”

After she stopped working, she joined the TOPS Kaysville chapter coming in at 239.75 pounds, Kynaston said. “I stayed on the proverbial ‘roller coaster’ losing and gaining until Nov. 23, 2021 when I was able to reach my goal of 155 pounds.”

As a member who recorded the largest weight loss from their starting weight, Kynaston was named 2021 TOPS Utah Queen by the TOPS organization.

“It’s a group that meets every week and challenges each other and cheers when members lose weight,” said Pauline Hartvigsen, 2020 TOPS Queen. “It gives people accountability to lose weight.”

Hartvigsen has been a member of TOPS for 41 years, she said. “I was an Area Captain for 24 of those years and a Utah State Coordinator for 12 years. I had lost the same 70 pounds two times with TOPS prior to that time but I never reached my goal.”

The TOPS chapter members told her never to give up, she said. “I’ve heard them say that losing weight is 90 percent in your mind and 10 percent diet and exercise. Well I found out they were correct. I attended a workshop at TOPS International Recognition Days years ago and the speaker talked about the importance of changing your mind’s thinking.”  

Hartvigsen said she started picturing herself at her goal. “I made up a positive affirmation and started to explore ways to find self-help and self-love. Gradually my weight started to go down.”

Sometime later, Hartvigsen started gaining weight again. “I hung in there and started to exercise a little more, watched my carbs and calories, all the while thinking positive thoughts and picturing myself at my goal,” she said. “Finally I broke the barrier and my weight continued to drop. I reached my goal in December 2020 with a loss of 108 pounds and continue to lose weight today.”

“Through their participation in TOPS, we are extremely proud of our TOPS members’ weight loss accomplishments,” said TOPS President Rick Danforth, who has maintained a 100-pound weight loss for more than 15 years. “Celebrating the life-changingKay achievements of not only these individuals but those who have come before them is a hallmark of TOPS’ winning formula. By maintaining a commitment to personal lifestyle changes, TOPS members are given the tools and assistance to achieve their weight loss goals.”

Hartvigsen said chapter members take turns teaching at the weekly meetings. “We give presentations on everything. We learn how to take off pounds sensibly and you work with your doctor to determine how much you should lose.”

Both Hartvigsen and Kynaston also enjoy the camaraderie of the group. “I love TOPS meetings,” said Kynaston. “Participating in the challenge contests and the lessons learned and all the wonderful friendships made.”